Single Leg Tights: What's the point?

athlete wearing black lvls single leg tights

If you've watched an NBA, WNBA, or PLL game in recent years, you've probably noticed the number of athletes wearing Single Leg Tights, leg sleeves, or cut compression pants continually growing. It's no surprise that this asymmetrical fashion statement has become a go-to look for athletes of all ages and talent levels, not to mention around the world! 

After selling Women's and Men's Single Leg Tights for two years now, one of the most common questions we get is "What's the purpose of them? Why do athletes want to wear these?" 

So, what IS the point?

Now, before getting into some of the main reasons why athletes choose Single Leg Tights over regular full-length compression pants, it's important to note that every athlete has their own unique reasons for going with the more stylish option. There are countless motives behind an athlete's decision, but in order to keep this blog as short as possible, we've cut the list to the top four reasons why athletes decide to purchase Single Leg Tights. The information below is based on our research, knowledge of the industry, and interactions with customers.

Knee Braces

If you've had knee surgery and are still fortunate enough to be able to lace up your cleats or sneakers, you're probably well aware of how uncomfortable knee braces can really be. Let's face it, they're designed to keep things in place, which ultimately limits comfort. 

If only there was a way to provide an extra layer of comfort between your skin and the knee brace! Now, before you come out declaring that normal, full-length compression pants can also solve the same issue, let's first ask the question, what if an athlete only wanted the extra padding on the leg with their knee brace? Cut those full-length compression tights no longer!

Leg Sleeves

Leg sleeves have been used and gained popularity far earlier than Single Leg Tights. They're the logical choice for achieving that fashionable look (before single leg tights arrived on the scene). However, they do typically require two products to be functional, instead of one.

Leg sleeves are still quite visibly seen in the NBA and WNBA today, but most athletes that wear them, either haven't discovered Single Leg Tights just yet, or prefer buying and wearing two products instead of one far more functional option. Think about it, most leg sleeves are held up with either a tight band or sticky rubber, both of which aren't nearly as comfortable as stretchy spandex material. Additionally, leg sleeves have a tendency to shift and fall down the thigh as a player runs up and down the court or field, which is why wearing compression shorts to hold the leg sleeve in place is vital (again, two products instead of one).

Note: Leg sleeves with a knee pad serve a different purpose and are a separate discussion altogether.

Cut Tights

black cut tights example

One of the most common ways athletes achieve the single leg look without actually purchasing Single Leg Tights is by cutting one leg of their full-length compression pants with scissors. Don't get it twisted, if you're tight on funds, looking for an easy option, and don't mind the cut leg riding up your thigh or coming unraveled much faster, then by all means, cut away! 

However, we have found that over the last few months, the majority of our customers have simply become fed up with either their children cutting their tights with scissors or they themselves prefer the comfort, functionality, and longevity of Single Leg Tights. Not to mention, if style and fashion is your goal, then you probably want to make an incredibly straight cut with your scissors so it's unnoticeable or just upgrade your wardrobe to include Single Leg Tights.

Fashion and style

Last but not least, the number one reason that athletes of all ages and talent levels prefer Single Leg Tights over regular compression pants is because of the style or fashionable look. Think about it; as the sports and fashion industries continue to grow evermore intertwined, athletes want to look cool, they want to be unique, they want to stand out. Whether it's different colored shoes, arm sleeves, or one legged compression tights, it's evident that fashion and style are growing in influence on the court and field.

Asymmetrical sportswear that's fashion forward, yet functional is positioned perfectly to capitalize on these growing trends. But, as is the case with most fashion trends, is the style of asymmetry here to stay or just a fad?

The future of asymmetrical styles

Obviously there's no way to know for sure, but if we take a look at the history of current trends throughout professional sports, it's evident that the future of asymmetrical fashion is bright. 

If Allen Iverson and the shooting sleeve (arm sleeve) have anything to say about it, the longevity of products that provide a touch of fashion and functionality is quite established. AI first wore his signature sleeve in the 2000-2001 NBA season due to bursitis in his right elbow, but it soon caught on as a fashion statement.

22 years later, arm sleeves are still an incredibly popular accessory to athletes in a number of sports, which provides a solid baseline for asymmetrical, fashion-forward, functional sportswear to springboard off of. 

It's also important to note that similar styles with modern adjustments are also in the works. With our recent release of our Short Sleeve and Sleeveless Ace Compression Shirts or one arm compression shirts, athletes are now able to utilize the same style of a shooting sleeve in the form of a more functional product. If you'd like to read more about the history, benefits, and how to purchase one arm compression shirts, we are happy to provide you with all the necessary information to help you make an informed decision!

LVLS Sportswear

single leg tights and ace compression shirts

If you have another reason that wasn't touched upon in this article, but think it should be added to this list, reach out to our team! We are confident that if you are experiencing knee brace issues, are tired of adjusting your leg sleeve, hate when your cut tights come unraveled, or simply want to stand out next season, LVLS Women's and Men's Single Leg Tights are a great solution! 

See more